Coming to the club so far...birmingham's first signing of the summer wasn't the expected one in ben foster, but an unheard of spanish midfielder by the name of enric valles. the twenty-year old signed on a free, and will join the club when the transfer window officially opens, on the 1st july. having not heard much of the youngster, it is hard to judge him on how well he will do, but he has already spoken about linking up with michel, blues' only other spaniard - which should help him settle into life in birmingham. learning his trade at barcelona, the versatile midfielder is a young addition to the squad, and hopefully a good one too.
the second player to come to blues in the summer was the long awaited signing of manchester united goalkeeper ben foster. after dragging of for at least a week, the deal was competed on the 19th may for an undisclosed fee - which is expected to be within the region of 6 million pounds, including add ons etc.
having started the season at united, foster got pushed down to third in the pecking order when edwin van der sar came back to full fitness, and has spent most of the season not playing football. discarded from the england team from the world cup due to his lack of football this season, twenty-seven year old foster is loking to regain his place in the side, whilst playing regular football, stating he is "not interested in just hanging about."
leaving the club this summer we have a handful of players, making way for the new hoard of players alxes mcleish is looking to bring in. last years player of the season franck queudrue has been left out of the side since picking up an injury early on in the season, and is now moving onto pastures new, after his contract came to an end. he started the season at centre back, but after an unfortunate injury, the fan favourite has not been able to get back into the side because of the brilliant form of scott dann.
former-star player gary mcsheffrey is also moving on after lack of first team football. the coventry-born forward started his blues career on fine form in the championship in the 2006/2007 season, netting a countless number of goals helping the club secure promotion back to the premier league at the first time of asking. however since then, performances and goals have depleted, and after rumors of him being 'in with the wrong crowd,' mcsheffrey and the club have both agreed it would be best for him to move on, after having two loan spells this season at nottingham forest and leeds respectively.
having been at the club for only one year, gregory vignal is also parting ways with birmingham. the french defender has made only nine appearances for the blues in his time here, which was mainly down to injury and lack of fitness, but also because fellow team-mate liam ridgewell had been playing so well at left back. he played the last few games at left back for birmingham due to the absence of scott dann, at has proved he can still cut it in the higher leagues. blues signed him at the start of the season on a free, one year, transfer.
also leaving the blues is lee carsley. carsley confirmed his exit before the final home game of the season against burnley, a game in which he came on as a late substitute and recieved a well deserved standing ovation from the whole ground, and was handed the captains armabdn so that he could captain his side for the last time. it was a fitting gesture, as he captained the side to promotion last season (2008/2009), and upon leaving the club, he said he came here to do just that [gain promotion], and will be looking to join another championship side, in hope of repeating this same feat with them.
teemu tainio - on loan from sunderland for the season - has also made his way back to the north-east. tainio made a total of six appearances for blues near the start of the season, before picking up an injury, forcing him to stay out of the side for the majority of the rest of the season.
leave the door open boys, there'll be quite a few new faces walking through it this summer.